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Best DSP option out there for Accuton drivers

rulez007

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Hello Everyone,
i'm in the process of designing a high end studio monitor using only accuton drivers (c220 / c90 / c25) and trying to find the best options for dsp based crossover / room correction. I have looked at hypex, four-audio and trinnov (out of equation due to price and latency) so far and mainly their plate amp options, however what i have found is that they only offer an "offline" editing, meaning that you do some measurements, make adjustments, upload, listen. In the car audio world you have options where you can tune your system real time while listening to it. Do we have something similar in the audio world? The best option indeed would be a plate amp but i would also be happy with a dsp only box with multiple outputs (similar to minidsp flex) where I could hook up amps per driver. I'm strictly looking at high end options what could be considered in a studio environment. Thanks so much for your help!
 

staticV3

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Hi @rulez007! Welcome to ASR.

If you would be happy with a dsp only box with multiple outputs (similar to minidsp flex), then perhaps take a look at the miniDSP Flex!

In it's Flex Eight variety, I believe it is exactly what you're looking for: a 2 in 8 out DSP only box with minimal latency and real time adjustments.

If you're after a more professional look and professional TRS Balanced outputs, then there's the Flex HTx.
 

MAB

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I built a pair mini-monitors plus subwoofers with a Flex Eight, use a SHD to integrate subwoofers with a pair of active Genelc monitors, and built a pair of JBL M2 clones with a MiniDSP Flex Balanced and a UMIK microphone. The gear is great, with fantastic performance. They have good documentation that would help your project too.
 

kemmler3D

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Having worked with an "offline" editing DSP many times, despite coming from the realtime DAW world, it's not that bad. You click upload and hear the results within a few seconds. Even if you are tuning by ear it doesn't really slow you down that much vs. realtime.

I say this because if I were building a high-end active speaker, I think the hypex plate amps are the most appealing choice, I'd much rather end up with one tidy box than speakers that need external boxes and numerous wires just for the crossover. But that's very much a matter of opinion.
 

MAB

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Having worked with an "offline" editing DSP many times, despite coming from the realtime DAW world, it's not that bad. You click upload and hear the results within a few seconds. Even if you are tuning by ear it doesn't really slow you down that much vs. realtime.

I say this because if I were building a high-end active speaker, I think the hypex plate amps are the most appealing choice, I'd much rather end up with one tidy box than speakers that need external boxes and numerous wires just for the crossover. But that's very much a matter of opinion.
True
I always end up with a sea of amps and wires.
 

ppataki

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@rulez007
Or you can use a PC-based solution, like Jriver and in that case you will only need a multichannel DAC, like the Topping DM7 (which is the current SOTA device)

This way you can also benefit from the virtually endless number of VST plugins and more exotic stuff like full linear phase crossover
 
OP
R

rulez007

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I have looked at the pc-based solutions but this would not be ideal, either would need to have a multitude of computers and audio interfaces what would end up to introduce delays in the chain or it would be an epic mess with a single computer, hence the quest for a standalone solution. I have checked lake lm44 or similar devices but they dont look like to be available or its available inbuilt into amps what are minimum 2k watt and cost 10k. Xilicia and a few other look like you need a science degree to operate so it seems that i'm finding stuff for either crazy expensive (trinnov altitude, deqx) or feeling very plasticy and cheep (minidsp), only middle ground seems to be the dspnexus but I hardly found any info on that so i'm a bit unsure to invest 3k in a product what could dissapear in 3 months. (By no means i'm ditching minidsp, I havent really looked into it yet, as it feels like a lower end product where it would be much more simple to just buy a plate amp).
 

kemmler3D

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I have looked at the pc-based solutions but this would not be ideal, either would need to have a multitude of computers and audio interfaces what would end up to introduce delays in the chain or it would be an epic mess with a single computer, hence the quest for a standalone solution. I have checked lake lm44 or similar devices but they dont look like to be available or its available inbuilt into amps what are minimum 2k watt and cost 10k. Xilicia and a few other look like you need a science degree to operate so it seems that i'm finding stuff for either crazy expensive (trinnov altitude, deqx) or feeling very plasticy and cheep (minidsp), only middle ground seems to be the dspnexus but I hardly found any info on that so i'm a bit unsure to invest 3k in a product what could dissapear in 3 months. (By no means i'm ditching minidsp, I havent really looked into it yet, as it feels like a lower end product where it would be much more simple to just buy a plate amp).
So, I am not advising you to get MiniDSP, but I had the same first impression as you - overpriced and cheap-o construction... but in general people seem really happy with them. And for what it's worth I have 2 mics from them, one is the headphone testing rig, have had it for several years, treated it pretty roughly TBH, and it's still kicking.

That said, I still don't think a lack of realtime updates is a good reason to go with outboard DSP vs. a Hypex or other plate amp. For me the idea of having extra boxes and cords just for the crossover sounds really ugly.
 

MAB

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I have looked at the pc-based solutions but this would not be ideal, either would need to have a multitude of computers and audio interfaces what would end up to introduce delays in the chain or it would be an epic mess with a single computer, hence the quest for a standalone solution.
I've done several applications with software DSP crossovers. The biggest issue is the speakers then need a computer to operate. I love the flexibility and performance of the software DSP, but running on Windows makes the experience poor, and Linux isn't better. Your situation would be even more difficult by your description.
I have checked lake lm44 or similar devices but they dont look like to be available or its available inbuilt into amps what are minimum 2k watt and cost 10k. Xilicia and a few other look like you need a science degree to operate so it seems that i'm finding stuff for either crazy expensive (trinnov altitude, deqx) or feeling very plasticy and cheep (minidsp), only middle ground seems to be the dspnexus but I hardly found any info on that so i'm a bit unsure to invest 3k in a product what could dissapear in 3 months. (By no means i'm ditching minidsp, I havent really looked into it yet, as it feels like a lower end product where it would be much more simple to just buy a plate amp).
Having owned both plate amps and multiple MiniDSP units, I think the comparison is backwards, plate amps typically feel like lower end products. I had older MiniDSP DDRC and OpenDRC units, maybe they felt a bit lower end due to the light cabinet and volume knob, but they easily outperformed my Bryston and Linkwitz analog crossovers I had. The Flex and SHD feel fine, good volume control, decent remote, etc.

I helped a friend build a full home theater with JBL studio monitors, which led to me to build a pair of JBL M2 clones since the JBL drivers are all available for sale. I can tell you the MiniDSP gear doesn't feel lower end in comparison to the (overly complex) Harman gear, and I get significantly less tweeter noise by a fair margin (likely to do with the Crown amps poor noise rather than the MiniDSP).
From a transparency perspective and MiniDSP gear has incredible specs:

I think the Flex HTx is perfect for your project (you can see I'm a fanboi). I wish there were more competition, but all other options seem to be many times higher price, or just silly. Otherwise I might go Q-Sys core, this post is very informative:
 
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